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Albany officials give tentative OK to Cutliff Grove offer

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany City Commission has given preliminary approval to a settlement with Cutliff Grove Family Resource Center over property tied in with a failed development that cost the city $374,000 in federal funds it had to repay.

This morning, the commission voted 6-1 to accept the settlement proposal from Cutliff Grove. Commissioner Roger Marietta was the lone dissenter in the decision for the city to accept the deed to the property in return for giving Cutliff Grove first refusal rights should the city later decide to sell the property.

"I'm not happy with the results, but from a business standpoint this is probably in the best interests of the city," Commissioner Bob Langstaff said. The vote has to be ratified at the next City Commission business session to be official. Langstaff said he also wants the commission to set more careful guidelines regarding who it partners with on these types of projects.

Albany officials wanted Cutliff Grove to help repay the $374,000 in federal funds that the federal Housing and Urban Development Department demanded back after the project stalled for four years. Cutliff Grove refused to repay any of the money.

Under the agreement, Cutliff Grove would have 60 days to match or beat any offer should the city attempt to sell the property.